Apple is never shy of lifting good ideas. Steve Jobs, after all, famously followed Picasso’s saying that “good artists copy, great artists steal”. Of course, that doesn’t always work. Not in these times when everything is a patent.
In September, the Swiss Federal Railway Service objected to iOS 6′s new clock-face design, saying it too closely resembled a trademark design of clocks used through out Switzerland’s train stations. The design belongs to Hans Hilfiker, who has been honored for his work by both Museum of Modern Art in New York and the London Design Museum, so there is no question of a “coincidence in creativity”.
Instead of going on a court-war once again, Apple has sought to license to the design from the railway service. Reportedly, Apple has paid $21 in lump sum to form a license agreement to use the classic design. However, the railway service’s representative said the amount of the licensing fee and other details of the deal would remain confidential.